Celebrating the 2015 John Monash Scholars

Copyright Giselle Haber Photography

The 2015 John Monash Scholars were announced at a gala event at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday 26th November, attended by leaders of the Australian business, academic, political, and philanthropic community.

12 of the 14 Scholars-elect were able to attend, and were presented with awards by the sponsors supporting their Scholarships.  The Foundation’s Media Release is available here: Media Release – 2015 John Monash Scholars – 26 Nov 2014

160 guests celebrated the occasion in the magnificent setting of the Sydney Opera House, inspired by a speech from the former Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir AD CVO. Professor Bashir was thanked by Mr Michael Bennett, a Victorian Selection Panel member and great-grandson of Sir John Monash.

In introducing the 2015 Scholars, Foundation Chairman Jillian Segal AM noted the extraordinary demand for the Scholarships, and thanked the over 100 volunteers who worked on the State and National Selection Panels.  The Foundation Board offered 14 Scholarships this year, reflecting the talent and diversity of Australia’s graduate students.

The 2015 group are notable for the focus on health, with half of the scholars addressing topics ranging from cancer diagnostics to the understanding of epidemics.   The Foundation’s focus on Asia continues, with two Scholars directly working in Asian business or policy.  As in 2014, the support to the fine arts continued with two more Australian Cultural Scholars selected.

The Foundation’s sponsors and supporters, including BHP Billiton, the Origin Foundation, the Commonwealth Bank, Woodside Energy, the NSW and Australian Governments, the Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Universities, and the Chairman’s Circle, all attended and met with the scholars and their families.

The Ceremony featured several new Scholarships.  The inaugural Harvard University John Monash Scholarship was presented by Mr John Roth, who, along with Foundation Chairman Jillian Segal AM, is sponsoring a perpetual Scholarship from this year.  A Scholarship was awarded on behalf of the Australian Government to commemorate the ANZAC Centenary.  The Myer Foundation also awarded a Scholarship for the arts.

The evening closed with a vote of thanks from the most recently-returned Scholar, refugee advocate and lawyer Madeline Gleeson, and musical performance by singer-songwriter and 2012 Scholar Anita George, and an orchestral piece played by a group of John Monash Scholars.

Copyright Giselle Haber Photography

Macushla Robinson (2015 Australian Cultural John Monash Scholar) with Sponsors Mr Tony Grybowski (Australia Council) and  Mr Tim Fairfax AC